Minister for Horticulture, Basharat Bukhari, today visited the Pecan Nut Village at Sasalkote in Rajouri district and inspected the pecan nut plantation in the area.
Pecan Nut Village is a Rs. 6.43 crore project of the Horticulture Department targeting plantation of 20,000 pecan nut plants over 100 hectares of land at Sasalkote in Rajouri over a period of four years.
On the occasion, the Minister was informed by the Chief Horticulture Officer that the Department has so far planted around 125 pecan nut plants with same number of fillers over 25 hectares of land involving 28 beneficiaries. He said beneficiaries are provided Rs. 50,000 per hectare as assistance, including 50% subsidy component, for taking care of the plants.
While inspecting the plantation, the Minister instructed the concerned officials to remove dead and decaying saplings from the nursery besides ensuring health of these saplings in a scientific way so that a natural and refreshing look can be imparted to it.
He also directed the Director Horticulture to depute a team of experts to look into the effects of multiple, mixed and inter cropping on the health of pecan nut plants and submit the findings at the earliest.
Director Horticulture was also directed to coordinate with SKAUST Jammu and work out possibilities of development of a high-yielding variety of pecan nut plant so that crop production can be increased.
Earlier, Bukhari also visited the Fruit Plant Nursery at Siot. He was informed that quality planting material of pecan nut, walnut, apricot, peach, plump, stone fruits and other citrus fruits are grown in the nursery spreading over 96 kanals, adding the produce is made available for plantations throughout the district.
MLA Nowshera, Ravinder Raina, MLC Vibodh Gupta, DDC Rajouri, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Director Horticulture, Bhawani Rakwal, SSP Yougal Manhas, Chief Horticulture Officer, Kirtan Singh Raina, among other concerned officers accompanied the minister during the visit.